As the economy continues its recovery, industry experts forecast renewed optimism in the software industry and the business applications space. Predictions include investments in business applications, especially within the CRM market to experience the largest increase of all application software markets. We are experiencing this first hand with strong revenue growth in FY11 Q2, including double digit growth for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, marking 26  consecutive quarters of double digit growth for this business.

And the excitement continues with the successful worldwide launch of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in January and the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner hosted deployment three weeks earlier than expected.  During the last four weeks, tens of thousands of customers from across the globe have signed up for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.  Responses from customers reiterate our vision to deliver a solution that embraces productivity as business experience, as they get the familiar experiences across Office, browsers, and mobile devices; intelligent experiences with real-time analysis of business critical data; and connected experiences that help them collaborate with their customers and within their company.

Customers continue to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM over the competition. As shared today, Century Payments switched from Salesforce.com to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and is recognizing $300,000 in annual savings. The switch took just two weeks and in the first six months, the company was able to triple the number of sales agents, from 50 to 160. In addition to using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for lead management, they found it so flexible they're now using it to support other business needs. Other examples of customers that have switched to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and are realizing real results include BioMedix, Jones Lang LaSalle and IGH Solutions.

January also saw the first public disclosure of the next version of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to our partners. This is an exciting release for the group and we expect to share a lot more about it as well as more news on Microsoft Dynamics CRM momentum at Convergence 2011 taking place next month in Atlanta. Be sure to follow @MSDYNCOMM, #CONV11 for the latest on this event.

 So stay tuned, there is a lot more to come from us this year.

Michael Park
Corporate Vice President
Microsoft Business Solutions